Issue(s): Defenders #135
Angel and Valkyrie are still poisoned at the beginning of this issue, but Candy Southern shows up with a team of doctors to revive them.
This issue mainly focuses on the small New Mexico town that lives underneath Angel's house in the mountains. It describes a scenario where a small town is growing largely due to an influx of Mexican immigrants, and there's some friction over that, and over the fact that a group of "muties" have taken up residence at the Worthington place. But the Sheriff is a good man.
The Defenders have two occasions to go into town this issue. The first is silly, in my opinion. The Defenders want Manslaughter locked up in the local prison while the army comes to take him away to a prison for super-heroes. I don't know why the team wouldn't just keep him at their headquarters. They look out of place in town, which is the point; i just don't see them thinking that they should go to the local sheriff to hold a super-villain.
The second is when a fire is started at an illegal bootleg bluejeans factory, and a sniper prevents the fire department from doing their job. The fire starter is a super-powered local tough who is immune to fire himself.
He's been hired by a local businessman looking to avoid inquiries by immigration and the FTC. "Immune to fire" being his only power, the guy is surprisingly good at holding his own against the Defenders...
...and it's the Valkyrie who takes him out.
After the fight, the Sheriff runs back into the building to rescue some workers that were trapped in a bathroom, and when he comes out, he's inhaled too much smoke. Valkyrie actually serves as a Valkyrie and takes him to Valhalla.
Gillis has definitely been working towards restoring Valkyrie to a deity status, using comments on her abilities from other characters. But this is the first time we've seen her do something truly supernatural.
Meanwhile, Moondragon is also searching for "the one"; she briefly thought it might be Blowtorch Brand, but she dismisses him. "His power is too weak for her." Ominous, wherever this is leading.
In a subplot, we see Gargoyle being held in thrall by someone, but that's the plot for next issue. It's said that Dr. Strange wasn't available to help look for Gargoyle.
In another subplot, Beast and Angel try to figure out who should be the leader of the team. Not the field commander, but the organizer. While they talk, Candy Southern comes in to make sure Warren signs important documents for the companies that he nominally runs, but they don't make the connection.
It's a good issue. If anything, Gillis is focusing too much on character and letting the plot get a little weak. But it's still good, and feels like we're building up to some cool stuff.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Iceman has been keeping Valkyrie and Angel's temperatures stable "all night" after the fight with Manslaughter, so this issue takes place soon after the last and no characters should appear in other books in-between.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAngel, Beast, Blowtorch Brand, Candy Southern, Cloud, Dolly Donahue, Gargoyle (Defender), Iceman, Manslaughter, Moondragon, Valkyrie
Neblulon, The Six Fingered Hand, Omegatron have been replaced by Blowtorch Brand.
I cancelled the New Defenders with the previous issue.
Looks like I missed nothing.
Posted by: A.Lloyd | October 8, 2014 2:45 AM
Actually, yes you did. Quite a bit in fact. Blowtorch Brand was a throwaway villain designed as such. The story here isn't really about going up against a villain but instead to remind us that regular people can be true heroes and attain Valhalla, of who Valkyrie really is, and about furthering an ongoing plot involving Moondragon's attempts to manipulate people into removing Odin's headband for her. There were some pretty darn good stories in the run after this point that you missed out on. Just maybe not ones with the sort of villain battles you were looking for.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | October 8, 2014 5:36 PM
The book was cancelled for a reason and not officially revived until 2001.
I don't count the Secret Defenders either.
Posted by: A.Lloyd | October 8, 2014 8:15 PM
Yea, they wanted to put the original X-Men back together in X-Factor. ;)
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | October 9, 2014 3:41 AM
Blowtorch Brand gets one more appearance, being blown away by a Scourge of the Underworld in the second issue of the original U.S. Agent miniseries.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 4, 2015 8:14 PM
Listed him as a Character Appearing. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 4, 2015 8:39 PM
Not quite sure why the Defenders didn't hand Manslaughter off to Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.. They did that with almost every baddie in DeMatteis' New Defenders stretch and the team was established as having relations with Nick Fury.
I'm guessing something to do with Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. and it's delays?
Although this issue also discards DeMatteis' setting them up as a legitimate team and Beast as apparent leader.
Secondly, handing Manslaughter, a super-human assassin, to a small town police force is very stupid. The guy's powers and skills alone make his potential for escape incredibly likely. Especially in a town with a small police force who probably don't have guards stationed watching the cells round the clock. And therefore you've immediately got the problem that Manslaughter can use his powers...
Posted by: AF | January 8, 2016 5:35 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|